When Minecraft was first released on 2011, the sand adventure game became an instant hit among players of all ages, eventually growing to be the second best-selling video game of all time. Parents and educators were satisfied with their focus on creativity, physics, design and problem solving.
That's why Microsoft created Minecraft: Education Edition, released in November by 2016, for use in the classroom. This game interaction allows educators to teach math, science, social skills, history and coding in a way that excites and educates children.
So, what difference do we have between Minecraft: Education Edition and Minecraft standard?
Well, it's not very different. It is the same basic gaming experience (craftsmanship, construction and creativity-feeding teamwork) and visual (en bloc), but with additional tools added to effectively integrate it into a classroom environment.
The goal of Education Edition is to use the open-plan Minecraft world to promote creativity, problem solving and student collaboration. There are lesson plans on a wide range of subjects, including science, technology, engineering, mathematics, history, languages and art, for a wide variety of ages.
According to Microsoft, the use of game-based learning in a virtual environment with which students are familiar is much more attractive to them.
The teacher can also create extra characters, controlled by the computer, to guide students across the world and provide resources.
But Minecraft also has a less colorful part that we have to mention. It is not a Free Software and the cost is $ 5 (around 4 €) per student for one year of subscription, it is a costly addition to the classroom and requires students to have regular access to computers equipped with Windows 10 or macOS, which Not all schools can administer.
Even so, I think Minecraft is one of the best "Learning Code" options for the classroom, although as we will see in the following article there are options to create your own MineCraft Server or alternative Opensource platforms.